By Managing Partner of Retail Marketing International, Jon Southcombe.
The retail-marketing universe: an introduction to the choices and channels in retail media. From screens and radio to shelf-barkers and leaflets, this article details the choices on offer and explains just why retail media is becoming a credible, measurable alternative to the more mainstream media choices.
Retail media is fast becoming one of the most exciting – and measurable – channels available to the modern marketer. Covering everything from radio to digital signage and from point of sales (POS) to posters, it offers an unrivalled opportunity to influence purchasing decisions.
So, what channels are available in the retail space and what do they give brands looking to influence shoppers’ buying habits?
Website page presence gives brand owners the opportunity to develop an online association with the media host's customers, while allowing consumers to research and act upon their product offering in their own time. Depending on the structure of the destination site, brand owners can activate purchases utilising an online shopping site or allowing consumers to print vouchers that can be redeemed instore.
Getting carried away
Not only do carrier bags provide a key service they also stimulate brand awareness away from the store environment. This can drive traffic to the stores and ultimately to the point of purchase.
Proximity or outdoor advertising
Outdoor provides advertisers with the ability to communicate with consumers away from the point of purchase and when in shopper mode.
An old favourite
The window poster immediately outside the store entrance provides a traditional way of building brand awareness and relevance to any planned in-store activity.
Face-to-Face marketing and in-store sampling
First-hand experience of a product's benefits as well as word-of-mouth advertising have long been the most well rounded approach in promoting a product. Interaction with consumers through tasting or sampling activities, or from demonstrators talking to shoppers and staff about a product's benefits can help people make well-informed purchasing decisions.
Tune in to in-store media
As the typical shopper in a convenience store does not necessarily know what products they are going to purchase, their highly receptive mindset may well be tuned into subconsciously being educated about specific brands or promotions. With an average duration of 20 seconds per advert, brands have a great opportunity to educate shoppers on the benefits of their product.
It might surprise you but…
…a dump-bin wrap couples one of the largest branding opportunities within the store environment with product placement outside of the standard product fixture. By virtue of being placed outside of category, dump-bin wraps allow secondary sightings and enhanced awareness within the store environment.
How’s it hanging?
Hanging Cards also represent a large in-store POS canvas. Situated above a category aisle, they offer a good visibility range across a store. Despite their size, Hanging Cards are used to enhance awareness and stimulate activation. The call-to-action generated by a Hanging Card is directly related to its proximity to the product.
My only friend, the end
The Gondola End Header Card is another of the store environment’s larger forms of POS. ?Placed above the top shelf of the gondola end, it can be seen both up close and further afield, creating instant recognition and awareness of product availability over a wide area. They can be most effective when used to re-enforce out-of-store ATL messages.
Shelf talkers, barkers, wobblers
These are the last possible barrier between the customer and the shelf and their proximity to the product and high visibility makes them some of the most powerful POS mechanics. Due to their size they are best used to reinforce one key message.
Give away information
Inside the convenience environment, traditional leaflets can be used as a 'mini-zine' to convey relevant information, with added call(s) to action (in form of website details/coupons/competitions) to activate sales. The shelf-edge dispenser unit helps raise awareness and educate consumers.
Till screen display adverts
Very few shoppers come into store and do not purchase a product. Till Screens are ideal to reach the maximum amount of consumers in a place where footfall and dwell time is highest. These screens lend themselves better to driving brand awareness and educating shoppers.
Pin pad insights
Pin Pads offer a powerful mechanic for gathering data. Up to four simple questions can be run on the till screens and answered on the pin pad from the start of scanning the shopping until the time of payment.
A4 Crowners add presence to off-shelf fixtures, making them both more noticeable and better vehicles for branding. Given the proximity to the product, they are most effective in delivering single powerful messages linked tightly to the product or promotion that the fixture is supporting.
With so many different media channels available it can be a complex process planning campaigns in retailers. However, the Co-op’s media centre is the perfect example of how effective these channels can be when run centrally; with one gate keeper the retailer can create consistency and cohesion that is absent in many of the large retailers.
This model, combined with the advent of online media planning tools, such as abc media’s Planmymedia.com, means that retail media is not only a powerful channel but also an increasingly manageable one.
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